HenryVII groat (facing portrait)

                      Henry VIII groat (profile protrait)


The first English groat were minted under Edward I. In France the gros tournois was widespread and under Edward I the Master of the Mint in England William de Turnmire agree to make a "great Sterling" to the value of four sterling pennies.

These first groats were minted from 1279 (89 grains)and were not a great sucess as a coinage. Examples of these early groat are rare expensive and often holed as touchpieces. It wasn't until 1351 that groats were issues again under Edward III (72 grains) and became a popular coin minted regularly until Elizabeth I. After then although a few groats (our fourpences as they were now known) in the reigns of Charles II there were no further hammered issues.

Groats were also issued in Scotland.

                                        Henry VIII Groat

                                      James II Scottish Groat

                            (Images Courtesy of Lloyd Bennett)